Monday, April 22, 2024

Famed Memphis fried chicken shop Gus’s permanently shutters Long Beach location

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Shortly after celebrating the location’s fifth year, Gus’s—the famed Memphis fried chicken shop that garnered the attention of everyone from L.A.’s own Jonathan Gold to, well, chicken lovers across the country—has permanently shuttered its Long Beach location, with one employee saying they were informed the space would be focusing on its Santa Ana location.

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A plate of fried chicken with potato salad and fries—double the starch, baby!—from Gus’s Fried Chicken in Long Beach. Photo courtesy of Yelp!/Kevin G.

It was Long Beach’s formal introduction to Memphis hot chicken—not to be confused with the much spicier, much more known Nashville version birthed by the Prince family in the same state of Tennessee—and while stellar in its beginnings, sadly began to see a fluctuation due to the fact that it only one year to adapt to a brand new community when the pandemic hit.

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The interior of the former Gus’s Fried Chicken in Long Beach. Photo courtesy of Yelp!/Mike C.

While its Arlington Heights sister in Los Angeles shines with consistency with over a decade of experience, Gus’s ambitious expansion and push in the west in the late 2010s was warmly welcomed before COVID hit—and it is, as a personal note, worth lamenting that the shop didn’t quite get to the point where it could find both consistency and quality that made the name famous in the first place.

Even more, our city lacks a representation of Southern food on a level that is outwardly and obviously shameful: With a rich Black history, Long Beach was once dotted with places throughout the city, particularly the north and central sides, that honored and lifted up soul food.

Spaces with fried chicken, greens with ham hocks, peach cobbler, mac’n’cheese, potato salad, red beans and rice… These dishes were common menu highlights and the closure of Gus’s? It is a sad reflection of the loss of that once great soul food scene.

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken was located at 2580 Long Beach Blvd.

Brian Addison
Brian Addison
Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 25 nominations and three additional wins. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.

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